Seattle public Library launches program to allow teens to access banned books

The new privately funded program allows teenagers around the country to access books through their online system. This is the second library in the country to do this.

SEATTLE — The Seattle Public Library is now the second library in the nation to provide youth nationwide access to the library’s books online.

They are doing this through the “Books Not Banned” program they launched last week in response to bans on books in schools and libraries in other parts of the country. The library was able to do this through private funding

“It’s a concern for us as a public library because of intellectual freedom and access,” said Andrew Harbison, director of Library Programs and Services at the Seattle Public Library. are really core principles to us. “We want to make sure that there is free and open access to information and ideas.”

The “Unforbidden Books” program allows teens to sign up for free memberships so they get access to books and audiobooks online. In its first week alone, the Seattle Public Library had more than 1,500 teenagers enrolled in the program and examined nearly 1,200 entries.

“We really, really want to protect intellectual freedom and access, and think this is a great way to do it,” Harbison said.

They are the second library in the country to do this. They shaped their program after the show at the Brooklyn Public Library in New York.

“Over the past few months, we started thinking about that and started talking to the Brooklyn Public Library team and working together to launch our own e-card and version of Unbanned Books.”

At the King County Library System, they are also concerned about book bans happening in other parts of the country.

“Honestly, at this point in my career, I never thought I would have to deal with this now,” said King County Public Library System Administrator Lisa Rosenblum. .

Rosenblum actually worked at the Brooklyn Public Library before coming to King County, although their “Books Not Forbidden” program was created after she left.

Rosenblum said the King County Public Library System can share online access with people in other parts of Washington, and thinks it’s great that libraries like the Brooklyn Public Library and the Brooklyn Public Library The Seattle community is expanding access to other parts of the country. Access to reading material can be increased at any time, she said, which is a positive thing.

“I just hope people realize that being exposed to different people and ideas strengthens us all,” says Rosenblum.

This is the hope shared by those at the Seattle Public Library who have been on a mission to unblock books for a week.

“We are really excited about the opportunity to expand access to these books, titles and authors, and a plethora of new ideas and information for teens and young adults to explore,” Harbison said.

Edmuns DeMars

Edmund DeMarche is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Edmund DeMarche joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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